Bayberry Plants with No Berries
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Luisa Rybicki
Posted on: November 25, 2006

I just read the question regarding bayberry plants and your response. I have two bayberry plants. They were both good sized 5 years ago when I purchased them. At that time one had berries the other did not. I had hoped that that meant one was a male the other a female. However, since that time I have not had any berries. What do the flowers look like in general? (I don’t recall anything that I would think of as flowers on these plants.) How can I tell female from male? When I establish which sex my plants are, do you have the name of a company that sells identified male or female plants? You also mentioned getting seeds and starting your own plants, where can I get seeds?

Richters sells the seeds most years under catalogue number S1298. They must be kept moist and cool in the winter and then planted immediately in the spring.

I am sorry, but I do not know of any firm that sells plants that they have first grown to maturity and thus sexed.

The flowers of the plants look like tiny cones and tend to be reddish. The female cones stay tight and just have tongue-like stigmas sticking out from between the scales of the cone. The male cones tend to grow like catkins from birches. The cones stretch out leaving a space between the scales, the cones become pendant and have tight stamens at the bases of the scales that dust pollen.

The plant that had the berries is of course female, so you only have to try to sex the other one. My guess is that it is a female also!

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